Home/ News / India/  Centre notifies new rules on Chief Of Defence Staff

NEW DELHI : The Ministry of Defense on Tuesday issued a gazette notification of guidelines which broadens the scope of eligible officers for the post of the Chief Of Defence Staff (CDS).

The next Chief Of Defence Staff could be anyone from the three serving chiefs, any serving three-star officer, any retired chief who is below 62 or any retired three-star officer also below the same age.

The notification issued by the Indian government aims to amend regulations of three defence forces related to appointment of Chief of Defence Staff. According to the notification, the top serving and retired officers from the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy will now be eligible for the top post.

The notification also opens a path for the second-highest active rank officers of the defence services to supersede their seniors - the chief of the army, air force, or navy - to take on the role. This is made possible because the notification mentioned that a serving Lieutenant General or their equivalent in the navy and air force could become the CDS.

Another change in eligibility criteria marks the inclusion of recently retired service chiefs and vice chiefs, despite the age ceiling being 62 years.

See the notification here

The top post fell vacant last year after the sudden demise of General Bipin Rawat, after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed on 8 December, 2021. The crash also killed Rawat's wife and a dozen others who were on board. India has been left without a CDS since then. 

The Chief Of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) is the military head and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.

 The Chief Of Defence Staff is the highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military and chief military adviser to the Minister of Defence.  The Chief also heads the Department of Military Affairs. The CDS is assisted by a vice-chief, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.

Rawat had retired as an Army Chief before he was appointed as the CDS. He took office on 1 December, 2020. 

The position was created with the aim of improving coordination, tri-service effectiveness and overall integration of the combat capabilities of the Indian armed forces. At the time of the creation of the post, no analogous position existed.

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Updated: 07 Jun 2022, 06:24 PM IST
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